Curly Sue (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Curly Sue1991

Curly Sue (1991)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

John Hughes dishes out the sentiment by the ladle-full in Curly Sue. The film stars James Belushi as Bill Dancer, a down-on-his-luck drifter who lives by his wits on the highways and byways of the United States, stealing free meals, slipping into movie theaters, and sleeping in welfare hotels. Bill is also the guardian of cute pint-size moppet Curly Sue (Alisan Porter), a cutey pie cross between Little Orphan Annie and Tatum O'Neal's Addie Loggins character from Paper Moon. Bill and Curly Sue are a perfect con team, and they practice their scams when they need money for food. Pulling a knockdown car-accident scam, Bill makes hard-bitten Chicago lawyer Grey Ellison (Kelly Lynch) think that she slammed into him with her car. She buys dinner for the two mountebanks before being taken away by her snotty boyfriend Walter McCormick (John Getz). But the next morning, Grey actually does hit Bill with her car, and she takes the two back home with her. At first, Grey can't seem to get Curly Sue out of her mind, but then she finds herself falling in love with Bill. They begin to form a perfect family until Walter puts in a call to the Department of Children and Family Services. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

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Alisan Porter
as Curly Sue
Jim Belushi
as Bill Dancer
Kelly Lynch
as Grey Ellison
John Getz
as Walker McCormick
Fred Dalton Thompson
as Bernard Oxbar
Cameron Thor
as Maitre d'
Gail Boggs
as Anise Hall
Burke Byrnes
as Dr. Maxwell
Barbara Tarbuck
as Mrs. Arnold
Edie McClurg
as Secretary
Charles Adams
as Prison Guard
James W. Bolinski
as The Pawnbroker
Marcus Lyle Brown
as Theater Patron
Nadine Burke
as Social Worker
Adele Robbins
as DCGS Caseworker
Grace Collette
as Foster Mother
Ralph Foody
as Drifter
Luke Reichle
as 1st Store Clerk
Joel Levin
as 2nd Store Clerk
Tammy Karabas-Brody
as 3rd Store Clerk
Patricia Hooker
as 4th Store Clerk
Joe Liss
as Ticket Taker
Rocco Pecirno
as Father of the Bride
Ely Pouget
as Dinah Tompkins
Susan Mayer
as Woman with Champagne Glass
John Ashton
as Frank Arnold
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Critic Reviews for Curly Sue

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4)

Curly Sue is a cornball, soupy, syrupy, sentimental exercise in audience manipulation, but that's the good news, because this is a movie that works.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Everyone who has to do with it -- particularly John Hughes, the writer, director and producer of it -- should be ashamed.

July 19, 2018 | Full Review…

The film has a desperately cutesy-pie charm that drips with flop sweat.

November 18, 2011 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

A disappointingly sentimental and shallow film from John Hughes about the homeless

August 10, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…

A violent, offensive comedy.

January 2, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Reprehensible from start to finish, and utterly manipulative and mindless to boot.

April 21, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Curly Sue

Cutesy homeless pair (a man and a little girl!!!) bum around from town to town (!) until they literally run in to a sympathetic lawyer (!!!), and that's just the set-up (unbelievable!). Dated because Hughes intentionally means to conjure up the days and spirit of Shirley Temple's joie d'vivre this only achieves a violation of audience goodwill. 3 year olds will disagree w/my assessment, I grant you that.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

John Hughes got into making movies with kids in the 90s instead of teens, Home Alone was good, but this one was more mediocre, I think. I saw it a long time ago, I'd like to see it again and rewrite this.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


Excellent film and I really enjoyed it. I agree with all the other people that this is a really great film. I doubt my rating will help matters but we'll see. It's a shame we haven't seen Porter in anything since this film. My only qualm is if they might have cut down slightly on the comedy, but it was still a great film. I wondered why this hadn't got a higher rating. Just shows, doesn't it?

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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